Monday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, BJ's Wholesale, Bluebird Bio, eBay, Foot Locker, Kohl's, Salesforce, Snowflake and More

The futures were lower to start the new trading week, with all eyes on Jackson Hole and the annual Federal Reserve economic symposium, after a brutal Friday that spelled the end of the market’s four-week winning streak. All the major indexes closed lower on the day, with the Nasdaq getting pummeled the most, down 2%. Hideous inflation numbers out of Europe, a strengthening dollar, combined with Federal Reserve Governor Bullard stating that he was for a 75 basis-point rate hike next month, seemed to be the main impetus behind the selling. Toss in the 6% decline in the housing market reported for July and the table was set for a decline.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed modestly lower, but well off the lows posted early on Friday. Analysts cited recession fears as keeping a lid on prices for the time being. Natural gas bounced back some on Friday, closing up over 1% at $9.29.

Sellers returned to the Treasury market, as yields jumped across the curve. The benchmark 10-year note closed right at the 3% level, and despite the curve steepening, the dreaded inversion remains in place (although it has narrowed), with the two-year note closing at 3.24%. Bond traders see the inversion as a recession indicator.

Gold closed lower to finish out a very lousy week, but the bigger story on Friday was the pounding that Bitcoin took, down over 8% to close at $21,255.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding fresh ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid. Remember that no single analyst call should ever be used as a basis to buy or sell a stock. Consensus analyst target data is from Refinitiv.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Monday, August 22, 2022.

America’s Car-Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: CRMT): Stephens downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight and slashed the $113 price target to $83. The consensus target is $117.50 for now. The stock was bludgeoned Friday, closing down 14% at $79.48, after posting results that missed estimates.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT): Goldman Sachs raised its $95 price target on the semiconductor capital equipment giant to $109 while reiterating a Buy rating. Citigroup also kept a Buy rating but lowered its $160 target to $150. The consensus target is $137.31. The stock closed on Friday at $104.63.

Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: ACGL): Citing its rock-solid performance and inspiring growth prospects, Zacks selected this insurer as its Bull of the Day stock. Shares last closed at $47.28, which is up more than 12% from a year ago.

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